Money Talks – January 20, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Principal Jennifer J. Thomas, CFP®, and Managing Associate D.J. Barker, CWS®, join Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the market’s continued rise and how the increase is distributed across the S&P sectors. Jennifer and D.J. discuss the changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made to 529 Plans, now allowing withdrawals of up to $10,000 for private elementary and high school tuition. The experts also have an in-depth discussion on Bitcoin, and answer listeners’ questions on optical subsystems provider Finisar Corp., and brewers Boston Beer Company and Anheuser Busch InBev.

Market Roundup: Favorable Earnings Results in a Positive Week for Equities

With the markets closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they made up during the rest of the week with plenty of action and new all-time highs. Indices landed slightly to the red side on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped above 26,000 for the first time before retreating for the session. Energy brands declined amid a dip in oil prices. Indices ended trading at new record highs on Wednesday marking the first time the Dow closed above 26,000. Indices closed in the red zone on Thursday on mixed earnings reports. Department of Labor data showed that initial jobless claims decreased last week, dipping by 41,000 to 220,000. Also, this week, crude oil prices climbed on a larger-than-expected drop in reserves. Energy Information Administration figures showed crude inventories fell by 6.9 billion barrels last week. Indices closed with slight gains on Friday. The Dow added points while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both ended trading at new record highs. Investors proceeded with caution amid concern of a potential federal government shutdown. On another note, consumer confidence is on the wane so far this month. In a preliminary reading for January, the University of Michigan’s sentiment index fell to 94.4, the lowest level since July.

Money Talks – January 13, 2018

This week on “Money Talks,” Research Analyst Nick Antonucci, CVA, joins Managing Associate, Shawna L. Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the week’s market action including wholesale trade and the Producer Price Index. They also discuss interest rates and the tightening we may see across central banks this year. Shawna and Jarrett delve deeper into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, looking at how the larger standard deduction and child tax credit could affect families now that they’re losing personal exemptions. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on which businesses might benefit from the tax cuts for pass-through entities, selling stocks with gains early in the year, state and local taxes, and Dominion Energy’s purchase of Scana.

Market Roundup: Strong Week for Markets Keeps New Year Momentum High

The S&P 500 Index and NASDAQ composite kicked off the week closing at new record highs on Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed fractionally lower for the session. The market moves were mixed on light economic news. From a sector perspective, the Utilities, Energy, and Basic Materials were among the advancers while the Healthcare and Financial sectors lost ground. West Texas Intermediate crude ticked up, settling at $61.52 a barrel. Indices closed at new record levels on Tuesday as shares of banks and healthcare companies drove the S&P 500 higher. Indices closed in the red on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 pulled lower by declines in the Real Estate and Utilities sectors. In economic news, the Wholesale Trade release showed inventories increased well above estimates for November. Wholesale sales were also strong, bringing down the inventory-to-sales ratio. All-time record highs were seen again on Thursday with a surge in Energy stocks. The markets also saw a sell-off in Treasury bonds on Thursday. Producer prices also cooled in December according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the final for 2017 showed demand rose 2.7% compared with a 1.7% increase in 2016. Indices closed at new record levels on Friday, ahead of the three-day weekend. Meanwhile, economic data provided a positive view of business conditions. The Retail Sales indicated that December’s holiday sales turned in their best gain in seven years. Furthermore, the Consumer Price Index headline number for December came in tame, but the core rate of inflation was higher than expected.